During these cold, dark days of winter I crave savory foods like stews and roasts. I find them warming, satisfying and delicious. There are times when I want to make it for dinner buy don’t have 3 to 4 hours needed for that slow, low, whole roasted chicken. This method, of splitting the chicken, cuts down on cook time and yields a juicy chicken with crisp and crunchy skin.
Be sure to use a pasture raised chicken if you want to eat the skin. The use of fresh savory adds a bright flavor to the dish. Most grocery stores carry small packages of fresh herbs even during the winter months. If you had an herb garden this year and grew savory and dried it, by all means, use that.
You might want to take the time and planning to brine the chicken before cooking, that will also add to the juiciness and flavor, especially if the chicken is pasture raised. These free running chickens tend to be a little tougher as they build muscle running around (like a chicken should).
Split Savory Chicken
- One 4 – 5 pound chicken (pastured if possible)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 stalks of scallion
- Salt to taste
- Several sprigs of fresh savory
- Fat to coat the chicken with — schmaltz from a previous chicken, bacon fat, butter or ghee
- Clean the chicken under running water and pat dry or if it was brined, rinse it.
- Place on a large flat platter or board (or in the kitchen sink), breast down
- Using the poultry shears, cut the back bone out (freeze this in a ziplock for soup stock)
- Spread the chicken open and with the knife, make a cut through the middle of the breast bone
- Flatten the breast bone and then rinse off any innards that may have been left and then pat dry
- Place the scallion, garlic and sprigs of savory at the bottom of the roasting pan
- Turn the bird over and place in the roasting pan on top of the vegetables and the savory
- Salt the bird
- Turn the hips in as shown in the photo
- Coat the bird with the fat
- Roast on 425 degrees F for 50 – 60 minutes depending upon the size
- The hip should register at least 175 degrees and the breast 160 degrees
- Let rest for 15 minutes and then slice and serve
- Use the juices from the roasting pan as gravy or make this gravy
- Save the bones for making bone broth